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  1. This post grows out of a really excellent thread started by James Poidog on training fighter aggression, especially for those uncomfortable with aggression themselves (that thread is linked at the bottom here). I started answering James and then just realized that this probably deserves a thread of it's own. This was the beginning of my answer: I hope she hops on here to discuss, but I'm just giving my view. I've seen female fighters go this way. Roxy Richardson advocated for it in some blog posts, Michelle Waterson talks this way. For Sylvie the creation of an alter never was super effective. She wasn't at peace with the values in that alter, and Muay Thai is so much of her soul I think it all was a little jarring, and in a way "not believable" to her, so it didn't quite stick. You definitely see this in male fighters too. The whole "persona" which works well with marketing, etc. But what Sylvie seems to have discovered for herself is the mantra: "The way you do one thing is the way you do all things." which means that if you want to fight differently, you have to bring those values and habits into your life, the way you do other things. An interesting example for instance is that as a Muay Khao fighter you need to constantly be taking up space. More and more space. Sylvie's physically small, often shy or reclusive person. She has been moving out of the way of people for a very long time, sometimes just out of the reality of what happens on sidewalks. So...when you are moving through supermarket aisles, who is the one who moves out of the way first? You don't have to be an asshole about it, but always one person makes the gesture to move first. Who is that person? If you really want to naturally be a certain way in the ring. for instance somehow who takes up space, yes, you can make up the "Space Eating Monster" alter who just gobbles space, or...you can become someone who increasingly takes up space more often, in all things, in all ways. What I find really interesting about this is that the reason why people are drawn to certain personas, or let's say certain fighting styles, like literally drawn like a moth, is that they speak to something deep inside, something that they might not be reconciled with. Training toward something in technique, or in style, or even persona, in the gym, is a way of working toward that expression, that thing. Alters are way of approaching that, but it seems much cooler, much more rich and transformative to literally take that thing, that desire onto yourself, and start to shape your life with it. I think that's much closer to the arc that fighters are spiritually aiming for in the first place. There is also always a suspicion for me that when people put on alters that those masks can break, if you push on them hard enough, that the fighter, or even the person in life, doesn't really, really, really believe that that is who they are. And that there can be a kind of fragility to that path. Yes, you can put on masks to grow into them, to give permissions, that's a tool, but what is is stronger, like a slowly growing oak tree, to really become what you dream. The original thread conversation spin off:
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